tv FOX News Sunday With Chris Wallace FOX February 17, 2013 4:00pm-5:00pm PST
. >> chris: i'm chris wallace. senate republicans block the president's toys to run the pentagon. ♪ >> chris: as g.o.p. senators demand more answers about the benghazi terror attacks, the white house charges they are playing politics with national security. we'll talk with the man leading the call for more information. senator lindsey graham. then, his tea party response to the state of the union speech, critical of both the president and the g.o.p. we'll ask senator rand paul who he thinks of the obama agenda as well as republican policy. also, it is less than two weeks until big automatic spending cuts kick in. we'll ask our sunday panel whether congress will reach a deal, before the sequester deadline and, our power player
of the week, helps the senate make history, by keeping track of history. all, right now on fox news sunday. and hello again from fox news in washington. republicans made history this week blocking a nominee for defense secretary for the first time ever. they are demanding more information about the nominee, former senator chuck hagel, and about the benghazi terror attack. joining me now, one of the senators leading the charge, republican lindsay graham, of south carolina. senator, you were telling me just before we went on the air that you just got new information about chuck hagel. what is it? >> well, on the day of the vote, there was a blog posting about a speech i think in 2007 or 2008 he made at rutgers university and the blogger was a supporter of senator hagel and put on his blog, 6 points of the speech,
question-and-answer session and point 6 was allegedly senator hagel said that the u.s. state department was an adjunct of the israeli foreign minister's office, which i think would be breath taking if he said that, had such a view and i got a letter back from senator hagel, in response to my question, did you say that and do you believe that, and, the letter says he did not recall saying that and disavowed that statement. >> chris: is that enough for you? >> well if that is true, that would end the matter because he previously said in a book the jewish lobby intimidates members of congress, particularly the u.s. senate and makes us -- pushes us to make very bad decisions. if the second statement were true, he said, the secretary of state's office is under the control of the israeli foreign ministers, those two together, would edge our view of the
israe israeli-u.s. relationship way out. >> chris: democrats say you are playing politics with national security. here's what president obama said. >> president barack obama: it is just unfortunate that this kind of politics intrudes at a time when i'm still presiding over a war in afghanistan, and i need a secretary of defense who is coordinating with our allies to make sure our troops are getting the kind of strategy and mission they deserve. >> chris: even if you allow hagel to be confirmed in a week when you come back from recess, do you worry he'll be damaged and therefore less effective dealing with congress and dealing inside the pentagon? >> i would worry about a congress being jammed, to support a nominee that the "washington post" said is to the left of the obama administration's foreign policy agenda. on the fringe of the senate. you are talking about a person
whose voting record shows softness on iran and antagonism toward israel beyond belief. he'd be the most antagonistic senator toward the state of israel in history, so the fact that we reported in -- tuesday, wanted a cloture vote thursday was unreasonable and we voted senator kerry on the same day because there was no controversy and offer to the white house to hold the vote until after the break, and, if nothing new came out we'd vote for cloture, senator john mccain and myself, but that wasn't good enough and they wanted to force the issue so i'm glad that we have got more time to look and i'm glad he answered my question, about a very disturbing comment he allegedly made. so i think we're doing our job to scrutinize, i think, one of the most unqualified, radical choices for secretary of defense in a very long time. >> chris: well, let me ask you a question about that. if he is so radical and
unqualified, if you get the information you are seeking on him, and on benghazi, we'll get to that in a moment... why wouldn't you still continue to try to block him? >> well, because i do believe the president has great deference and here's the question for our country, can we do better than this? i think so, the president chose the controversial nominee that refused to sign letters supporting israel and, refused to sign a letter asking the eu to designate hezbollah as a terrorist organization and the list goes on and on and on but at the end of the day, this is the president's decision, i give him great discretion and can't believe one democratic colleague is not upset by this choice, enough to speak out. >> chris: now, one of the other things you want and you are using the nomination as leverage, is to get more information about benghazi, the president says that that is all
about politics. take a look at this: >> president barack obama: we've had more testimony and more paper provided to congress than ever before, and, congress is sort of running out of things to ask. >> chris: question, tell me the single most important thing that after all of these months you still don't know about benghazi. >> pretty hard. let's start with after. we don't know who changed the talking points to take the references to al qaeda, or the talking points given to susan rice and don't know who the survivors of the attack are so congress can interview them. how in the world could the president and susan rice suggest that is not a pre-planned terrorist attack when the secretary of defense and the chairman of the joint chiefs testified before congress a week ago that they knew on the night of the attack it was a terrorist attack. so many unanswered questions. >> chris: senator, let me pick up on one of them i find,
frankly, quite astonishing. what is the administration's explanation for the fact the fbi interviewed the survivors, all the americans who safely got out of benghazi, right after the attack, months ago and refused to give the transcripts of the interviews to congress. what is this explanation for that? >> it is an ongoing criminal investigation is what they told me. we are going back to the law enforcement model, treating al qaeda as a mafia, common criminal element rather than enemy combatants and here's what was really stunning, the fbi interviewed the survivors, two days after the attack in germany and, the cia never called the fbi for weeks, wanting the results of the interview before making assessments and we are going back to the pre-9/11 mentality of, we treat it as a law enforcement function and fbi an cia never talk to each other which is dangerous and benghazi was system failure, before, during and after. >> chris: senate republicans are also talking about holding up the nomination of john brennan,
the president's chief counterterrorism advisor, to head the cia. and, rand paul, your colleague, who will be on after the break, says one of the things he wants to ensure is that a president can't order a drone attack against an american citizen without a judicial review. is senator paul wrong? >> well, i think the worst thing in the world is to have the courts decide who to target in the war on terrorism. courts are not military commanders, the commander-in-chief has the right under our laws and authorization to use military force to designate the enemy, and i think we need drones to patrol our borders and, we are using drones where there is really no soldiers, and, along the afghan-pakistan border but i very much believe we're at war and any american citizen who aids al qaeda should be treated an enemy combatant and not a common criminal and we have done that in every war and drones are
a tactical weapon in the overall war. >> chris: when congress gets back from recess, the week after this one, you will have just five days to try to keel with the sequester. the $85 billion in automatic spending cuts that kick in on march 1st. now, some republican leaders say if it comes down to a choice, between sequester, cuts, $85 billion, split evenly between the domestic side and military, pentagon spending, or, the president's demand for an increase in taxes, then let the sequester happen. are they wrong about that? >> i think so. i think we should have in a bipartisan fashion top sequestration, before in the words of the secretary of defense destroys the pentagon, we can cut 1.2 trillion over the next decade without destroying the defense department if we choose and the president promised in the campaign sequestration would not happen and now is allowing it to happen
and is raising taxes, to pay for half of it, and the other half comes from defense cuts and we all cut $489 billion and taking money out of the farm bill and when the president says at the state of the union, we cut spending $2.5 trillion, that is absolutely and misleading statement. >> chris: why? >> well, because, we haven't. we haven't done anything with sequestration yet, instead of cutting spending by $1.2 trillion, he's now suggesting we raise taxes, by $600 billion and cut the pentagon yet again, and, go to the farm bill. that is the only area that they are willing to cut and we haven't cut $2.5 trillion, because, the sequestration is now going to be replaced by tax cuts, and further defense spending, and it is only 19% of the budget, but, you know, back to the benghazi thing and this administration being transparent, to the american people, this president can say almost anything he wants with a few notable exceptions and get away with it.
we still have no idea what the president did, and when secretary clinton said she had a clear idea of the threats faced in libya, the secretary of defense and chairman of the joint chiefs said they knew that night it was a terrorist attack and knew of the reporting coming out of libya, from ambassador stevens, who said we cannot defend the consulate. she was not clear-eyed, she was blind and deaf and the president of the united states never picked up the phone to call anybody in libya to help these poor people under attack. the first ambassador killed in 30 years. withheld information. i think manipulated the evidence after the attack to create a political narrative rather than sharing with the public the truth about an al-qaeda attack that was pre-planned, pre-coordinated. we'll get to the bottom of this. >> chris: let me just ask you one more question about the sequestration before we let you go, senator. you know if we go into the sequester the president is going
to hammer republicans, the white house already put out a list of all the things, terrible things that will happen if a sequester kicks in, sing head start. 2100 fewer food inspectors and small business will lose $900 million in loan guarantees and you know, senator the president will say your party is forcing this to protect tax cuts for the wealthy. >> well, all i can say is the commander-in-chief thought -- came up with the idea of sequestration, destroying the military and putting a lot of good programs at risk. it is my belief -- take obamacare and put it on the table. you can make $86,000 a year in income and still get a government subsidy under obamacare. obamacare is destroying health care in this country and people are leaving the private sector, because their companies cannot afford to offer obamacare and if you want to look at ways to find $1.2 trillion in savings over the next decade, look at
obamacare, don't destroy the military and cut blindly across the board. there are many ways to do it but the president is the commander in chief and on his watch we'll begin to unravel the finest military in the history of the world, at a time when we need it most, the iranians are watching us, we are allowing people to be destroyed in syria and i'm disappointed in or commander-in-chief. >> chris: senator graham, thank you and thanks for joining us today. we'll talk about sequestration and the hagel nomination. up next, the voice of the tea party, senator rand paul, who gave his own response to the president's state of the union speech. ♪ tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 is your old 401k just hanging around? tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 consider if rolling it over to a schwab ira tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 might let you get more out of it. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 like earning a bonus of up to $600 tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 in a schwab ira tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 and 150 commission-free online trades
tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 plus our rollover consultants handle virtually tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 all the details tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 to help you focus on the bigger picture. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 so give us a call and get started today. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 see schwab.com/iraoffer for terms and conditions. watch this -- alakazam! ♪ [ male announcer ] staples has always made getting office supplies easy. ♪ another laptop? don't ask. disappear! abracadabra! alakazam! [ male announcer ] and now we're making it easier to get everything for your business. and for my greatest trick! enough! [ male announcer ] because whatever you need, we'll have it or find it, and get it to you fast. staples. that was easy.
>> chris: this week he took on democrats and republicans in his tea party response to the president's state of the union address. here with his critique of both parties is senator rand paul of kentucky and, senator, welcome back to fox news sunday. >> good morning. >> chris: we'll get to the president in a moment, but let's start with the republicans. you say the sequester is fine, even the 40-plus billion dollars that the pentagon would take in military spending cuts. you just heard senator graham say, no, it isn't fine, that that would further jeopardize our national security.
>> well, ideally we would have done the right thing, pass appropriations bills and reduce spending where we think is fit. the sequester is sort of a hammer. it was requested by the president. it was his idea. signed into law by him. so i think it is disingenuous for him to go back on it. but, to put it in perspective, it is a trillion dollars that over the next ten years spending will go up $9 trillion. so, even with the sequester, spending will still rise overall. so the sequester really is a reduction in the rate of growth of spending, it's not a real cut in spending. >> chris: senator graham also says you are wrong, that the last thing we need, talking about drone strikes, the last thing we need is a judge, second-guessing the commander-in-chief. >> i think we may need to make the question a little more precise. what i'm asking is about drone strikes on americans, on american soil. the president will not answer that he cannot do this, in fact
he seems to be asserting that he can do this. the law indicates that he can't. the cia is not supposed to assassinate people on american soil. and, the department of defense is not allowed to act on american soil because of the act and the american law says they can't do this but the president, all he'll say is he doesn't intend to do this. it is like him to saying, i don't intend to override the second amendment but i might. that is -- >> let me interrupt for a second. i thought you were objecting to drone strikes on american citizens on foreign soil as well. is that not true? >> i'm primarily asking, the primary question is, americans on american soil, can the president kill them with a drone strike from the program. it is blatantly illegal and i would think most americans would want to be -- have their day in court, and so i disagree with senator graham. if you live in america, you ought to get your day in court before hellfire missile comes down on your house... >> chris: i'm confused, sir, why
would we need a drone strike? the reason for that is we don't have people on the ground -- if we knew where an al-qaeda operative was, american or foreign -- >> you would think. >> chris: -- on u.s. soil, wouldn't we just go catch him? >> you would think. but here's brennan's response. he says the authorization to use force in 2001 in afghanistan has no geographical limits. so, when he says that, our first question is, gosh, he is implying he could do it in america and we sent him a written question and the senator asked help a verbal question, can you kill an american on american soil and he will not answer. the president has now answered and says, i don't intend to do so. well, that is pretty weak. i want him to say, absolutely he will not kill americans on american soil. because we do strikes overseas that are sometimes not i starge to an individual and a train is coming out of a caravan where we think people don't like america and strike a train of vehicles without knowing who they are but with americans overseas i have
some objection in the sense i would try them for treason. and, al-awlaki was known and was on a target list months and months and could have been tried in a federal court for treason, denounced america and all likelihood would have been swiftly convicted. his son was never tried. we killed his 16-year-old son and i don't think that that was appropriate. his son was never even accused of terrorism, the government won't even admit it was a mistake or an error, whatever it was, and i think that is wrong, you should get protection for being an american citizen. where i agree with senator graham, if you have a grenade launcher on your shoulder and firing at americans, you don't need due process but if you are sitting in a cafe in paris or yemen, there should be a process where a judge decides your guilt, or a jury. >> chris: there is a growing battle inside the g.o.p., as you know, karl rove launched something called the conservative victory project to get involved in primaries to make sure the party doesn't in
the primary nominate someone who cannot win a general election. do you think that is a mistake? >> well, you know, elections are a free marketplace and everybody has a right to participate in primary elections. well, what i would say is primary elections need not be selected by the party, in my case and senator rubio's case the party chose someone else and in senator rubio's chase they selected a democrat which is not a really good choice, let's have healthy primaries and if people want to contribute on all sides, let people make voluntary contributions and we'll see which way it goes but competitive primaries you get a good candidate, typically. >> chris: the president's agenda: what is wrong with the idea the president laid out in the state of the union, yes, at this time particularly when we have a weak recovery, we need to spend more money, he calls it, investment, on education, on infrastructure, on research, especially, when mr. obama says, if you make cuts in other places we won't add his
words, a dime to the deficit. >> yeah, he said that about 20 times in the last four years. meanwhile, he added $6 trillion to the debt. i think it is really disingenuous. he said in his speech he reduced the debt by $2 trillion. well, he added $6 trillion and that means because he didn't add $8 trillion he's reduced it by $2 trillion? that is absurd. he listed about 50 new programs and says they'll not cost you anything. we're going to squeeze the money out of the rich. the problem is, whenever he tries to squeeze more money out of the economy, he is slowing it down. we slowed down in the fourth quarter, and it's not because government spending is going down. government spending is still going at pace and we have plenty of government spending and in fact spent more the fourth quarter last year than the third quarter and spent more than the previous year and never had a real cut in spending in recent history. so i think he's just flat-out wrong. >> chris: but, as a matter -- whether right or wrong, and, you know, it doesn't have anything
to do with -- as a matter of practical politics isn't the president putting the republican party in the same spot he successfully put you in during the campaign, he's defending the middle class and you guys are protecting tax breaks for the wealthy? >> right and that is empty and false rhetoric and is our job to explain to the american people, big government doesn't help the poor. big government creates massive debt which causes your prices to rise. your gas price going up, if you make $20,000 a year, and have two kids you are poor and when your gas prices go from 3.20 to 3.80 that is president obama doing that with big government and his debt and if you are a senior citizen trying to save money, when your savings is sapped and you get no cost of living increase, that is president obama doing that to your prices because his massive debt causes prices to rise. >> chris: let's turn to immigration. you talked about that in your official response on tuesday. here's what you said: we must be the party who sees
immigrants as assets, not liabilities. we must be the party that says if you want to work, if you want to be an american, we welcome you. question, do you support the bipartisan gang of 8 in the senate, which put together at this point kind of a blueprint, outline for immigration reform, that says that they would allow people, the 11 million illegals to stay here, would give them some legal status, not a path to citizenship but some legal status right away, and, once you get enforcement of the borders, then a path to citizenship? >> i do support immigration reform. i do support the concept of telling the 11 million people here that if you want to work, and you don't want to be on welfare we're willing to find a place for you in america. as far as the bipartisan proposal, i'll support it on one condition: that is that we have a report that says the border is being secured but that report comes back and is voted on in congress and this is my idea i have been promoting and will be an
amendment or substitute for their bill is that each year over a five or six-year period we have to have a report by an investigator general from the gao that comes back and says, the border is secure but conservatives like myself have been forced, step-wise -- for step wise immigration reform if the border is secure but i will not do it on a promise from president obama, i think it is an empty promise and we need to trust but verify and my amendment will have a report each year over five years congress has to vote onto say the border is secure. >> chris: let me ask you, there is a white house draft of a comprehensive immigration plan that started circulating this weekend which would allow the 11 million a path to citizenship without any linkage to border enforcement. >> this is the president torpedoing his own plan and shows me he is not serious and, democrats bring up these ideas as wedge issues and don't want to pass them because then they'd no longer have the republicans
to blame and really set themselves up for failure by putting something up as untenable. i have come a long way forward on this issue and i am a very conservative senator, i'm someone who is -- who strongly believes in border security first and i'm willing to come towards them and figure out a compromise on this. but, when they come out and adamantly say my way or the high away and, if congress puts it on the desk i'll say pass it now, that is no way to get it done and he'll blame it on us and it seems to me, the president doesn't want immigration reform. >> chris: finally let's talk about 2016. how serious are you about -- you know what i'm going to ask, running for president and would it be to make a point as your father did, in his presidential runs, or would it be to win? >> i would absolutely not run unless it were to win. you know, points have been made and we'll continue to make points but i think the country really is ready for the
narrative coming, libertarian republican narrative, because we have been losing as a national party. we are doing fine in congressional seats but are becoming less and less of a national party. we don't win on the west coast, new england and struggle in around the great lakes. i think people want a party that is a little less aggressive on foreign policy and still believes in a strong national defense but less aggressive and want this young people -- the young people want politician who will not put them in dajail for0 years for a nonviolent charge, and, all -- don't give them welfa welfare, either... >> chris: 30 seconds left. you sound like you are running. >> we won't make a decision until 2014 but i think i do want the party to become a national party again and not lose sight of how we grow as a party, so i will continue in that vein for a couple of years and then we'll
decide. >> chris: senator paul, thank you. thanks for coming in, always good to talk with you. >> thank you. >> chris: by the way, we wanted to speak with a white house official today, about the president's agenda for the second term. but while new chief of staff dennis mcdonough sat down with the other three sunday shows the white house turned done a request for him to answer our questions, and explain the president's policies to all of you. we'll keep trying. up next, divisions within the g.o.p., as one of our panelists angers the tea party faithful. ♪ the world needs more energy. where's it going to come from? ♪ that's why right here, in australia, chevron is building one of the biggest natural gas projects in the world. enough power for a city the size of singapore for 50 years. what's it going to do to the planet? natural gas is the cleanest conventional fuel there is. we've got to be smart about this. it's a smart way to go. ♪
[ male announcer ] how could a luminous protein in jellyfish, impact life expectancy in the u.s., real estate in hong kong, and the optics industry in germany? at t. rowe price, we understand the connections of a complex, global economy. it's just one reason over 75% of our mutual funds beat their 10-year lipper average. t. rowe price. invest with confidence. request a prospectus or summary prospectus with investment information, risks, fees and expenses to read and consider carefully before investing.
>> he's all up there with the stupid little third grade white board of his, with the fourth grade writing style, talking about how they committed $30 million to tea party candidates. bring on your little white board. we're ready. >> chris: conservative radio talk show host mark levin, mildly upset with karl rove's new plan to vet republican candidates in future primaries. and it is time now for our sunday group, the aforementioned former white house senior advisor, karl rove, bob woodward from the "washington post" and author of the book "the price of politics", and kimberley strassel of the "wall street journal" and fox news political analyst, juan williams, well, as we mentioned, karl helped launch the conservative victory project, which is going to make an effort in the primaries in 2014, to make sure that the republican voters in those primaries elect people who are
going to win in the general election, and that has made the tea party and people who are supporting that part of the republican party, very upset. karl, your reaction? >> my personal favorite was when mark levine referred to me as queen for a day and i'm not sure exactly what he was talking about. >> chris: i don't think it was a compliment. >> i don't think so, either. let's be clear, we spent $30 million on behalf of tea party candidates and you had rand paul on and we're the largest outside group supporting rand paul, $2.9 million. and, remamarco rubio, i gave hi money personally, very early of the campaign and we gave support -- >> tea party candidates are saying you are -- >> no. no. no, some people associated with the tea party level. todd aiken was not a tea party candidate and tea partiers supported the other -- >> the guy who said, legitimate rape in a missouri... >> right. and our object is, to avoid having stupid candidates who can
to the win general elections and are undisciplined and can't raise money and i'm spputting together the support, because the money is too difficult to be raised to spend money on candidates who have little chance of winning in a general election. >> chris: the tea party thinks you are going after -- let me say. there were plenty of bad establishment candidates in north dakota and virginia and wisconsin and a lot of them blew chances in races -- >> i think that is right. let's take case of indiana. we had a candidate, richard murdoch, who lost the general election in a state comfortably won by mitt romney and reelected republicans up and down the valley. two people are responsible for the loss in the indiana race and one is him, he ran an undisciplined campaign and said if a woman was raped and conceived a child it was god's will and there is another person to blame and, senator lugar lost touch with the voters of his state and registered to vote in
a place he hadn't own since 1973 and last went home for a lincoln day dinner since the 1980s and even an accomplished states man like that will cost the loss of an election, if they do not allow a robust primary to emerge. >> chris: what does it say about the republican party, you have karl rove stepping into say we have to police the republican primary voters, i mean, the process, try to police who republican primary voters will pick, and let me finish the question: and, when you you have marco rubio, who is pretty conservative and a tea party favorite giving the republican response, and the tea party thinks they need somebody else to give a response to the response? >> my last book is going to be called "some people never go away" and karl will never get his own chapter because he never goes away. sorry. maybe two chapter, because, you never know what the next bounce
will be with you. but, what is interesting is the focus on money. i think the problem in the republican party is really not money. i think they've got lots of it. i think it is -- the case, why are we here, what is our message, how to connect to the real world and the idea, 30 million here, we'll do that is the wrong track. >> chris: karl, your response. >> he's right. i used the $30 million to prove that we were pro tea party but i think you are right. a lot of this is just simply examining the candidates, looking at the record and doing the research on ourselves as the other side is already going to be doing and try to have discussions behind the scenes among conservative groups as to how strong are these respective candidates, look, there is a reason why todd aiken won the primary, he did because harry reid spent $2 million attacking him as a conservative during the republican primary. he said he never voted for a tax increase and always pro-life and
supported a balanced budget amendment, and the object was help nominate the weakest republican candidate possible, so they'd have a chance -- >> but you set yourself up as a politbureau and the theory on republicanism is to lit the local state -- >> rand paul had a right and everybody has a chance in markets and let people go in and participate, the opposite of politbureau and the more who participate the better off we are and the more we examine the quality of the candidates the more likely we have fewer christine o'donnell's and more ra rand paul joos what do you think of the republican party's decision, temporarily, to block the nomination of the defense secretary for the first time in our history. >> why wouldn't they? in the end he's probably going to be confirmed, but in the meantime this is an opportunity -- the president thought in nominating chuck hagel he'd put him out there and rub
republicans' noses in it and chose a g.o.p. guy who believed in his philosophy and in the end it has not work out as well for the president. his nomination hearing was a real disaster and he came across looking fairly incompetent and so many questions are raised about his history and the g.o.p. says, let's delay it a little longer and keep the headlines on the white house, and he'll probably come back and get confirmed at the end of the day. and in the meantime the president has to deal with the issue for a bit longer. >> chris: juan, what about the republican decision and what about their response, justification, particularly on benghazi, saying, that using this as leverage to get information, the white house is refusing to give them? >> the question is what information they think is out there. that has not been already acquired. and, the argument coming from the white house is, you keep changing. i mean, initially it was, wait, it is opposition to the surge in iraq or statements about israel and israel's influence on capitol hill and this morning
senator graham said to you there was new information in a speech, or notes about a speech. so, what you get is, we have a weak period in which i think you have conservative politicians on the hill, hoping something more might come out. but, appearing petty, because, as you pointed out, chris, this is unprecedented, that you would block the defense secretary, and, allows the white house to say, this is creating instability. we have 66,000 troops still on the ground in afghanistan and need a defense secretary, secretary panetta is having to go to brussels this week, which was supposed to be the coming out party for senator hagel as defense secretary and they are taking on their own republican senators and i think if you count the votes now, they don't have the votes to block. >> chris: the votes to block but they've got -- >> had the votes to essentially have a filibuster and they say they will not filibuster but they don't have the votes at the end of next week to block hagel.
>> chris: all right, but you talk about the information they want and you say they are moving the goal post, if you will. bob, as somebody who knows a little bit about cover-ups, are you a little surprised about the fact that we still don't know what the president was doing on the night of september 11th and we still don't know who he called, what he did, only talked about pentagon, defense secretary, once, that he never called anybody in libya, and, are you also surprised -- i'm not saying -- i'm astonished, the administration refused to give congress the fbi interviews with the survivors of benghazi. >> those are good questions and are always unanswered in questions like this but the hagel confirmation is not the forum to get that kind of information. there is another dimension here and that is, what are democratic senators really thinking about the hagel nomination? i understand some of them actually called the white house and said, is hagel going to
withdraw? would he consider withdrawing, the answer is an emphatic "no" and, remember, john erlichmen, nixon's aide used to talk about twisting slowly in the wind and the factor here is time and there is this twisting in the wind aura to all of this, and i wonder whether the democrats are kind of looking and asking what really is the fundamental question here, is he the best person to be secretary of defense? >> chris: all right. we have to take a break, when we come back the fight over spending comes down to the wire, with the sequester deadline less than two weeks away. ♪ well, technically i work for one. that company, the united states postal service® works for thousands of home businesses. because at usps.com® you can pay, print and have your packages picked up for free.
>> everyone should be clear that sequestration is a republican policy and it is a bad policy. >> the sequester was the president's idea. his party needs to follow through on their plans to replace it. >> chris: house speaker john boehner and democratic whip steny hoyer, still no closer to a deal to avoid $85 billion in spending cuts on march 1st and we're back now with the panel. the man who literally wrote the book about the budget battle, put it to rest: whose idea was the sequester and did you ever think we'd actually get to this point? >> first, it was the white house, it was obama and jack lew and rob nabors who went to harry reid and said this is the solution but everyone has their fingerprint on this and it is everyone's -- the policy and it is law, what is important about
it is, it is a governing travesty. the idea that you are going to go around and in random ways cut things and would be like a family that has to cut their budget, saying, let's cut the medicine that keeps the children alive. it is stupid. >> chris: kim, having said that it is stupid, what are the chances that we're actually going to reach march 1st and the sequester, the $85 billion in automatic cuts, will kick in and if it does, and if we begin to see, markets reacting and stuff, how does it play out with the president insisting there have to be tax hikes on the rich, and, the republicans saying, no, it all needs to come out of spending cuts? >> i think it is very likely we hit that day and it comes and the reason why is because, the republicans have been asking the white house to come up with some sort of alternative, which you actually prioritize, look forward, maybe, do something on entitlements and they will not do that. >> wait, senate democrats came up with a plan -- >> tax hikes.
>> chris: partly cuts, but, yes, also tax hikes, half and half. >> and republicans said, look we did tax hikes, a month ago and you can tax everybody 100% of their income at the higher end and it will not deal with this and we need a focus on the spending problem and the main question is how the white house decides to implement this and whether they'll play really big games because the temptation for the white house is there is latitude en how you can actually put the cuts into effect and you can do them in a way that doesn't hurt as much but their temptation is going to be to just make it as painful as possible, what school districts -- always cut the fine arts programs to make the parents want to cough up the money in the -- >> the white house already put out it will be kids, thousands of kids thrown out of head start, no food safety inspectors to make sure our food is safe. you know, all kinds of dire things, small business won't get any kind of loan guarantees. they are saying we'll make it hurt.
>> and i think the news media will play into that at every level but the big ticket here is you are cutting jobs, millions of jobs around a country and you are damaging the economy. so, stupid as bob said is a good word for it. it is taking a hatchet to the economy, the moment when the economic recovery, no matter if you are republican or democrat, by everybody's estimates is in a fragile state and doesn't make sense and now, the president says, you know, look back to the negotiations he was having with speaker boehner and he said a lot of those proposals are still on the table, we can get back -- we have a three month delay an kick the can down the road a little farther and avoid -- >> two month delay. >> that is the way we apparently govern now in washington, from one crisis to another and the question is when you bump up against it and come up against the debt ceiling and the fiscal cliff usually we put it off but this is one i think that will cause tremendous damage and the -- >> $85 billion. >> with the congress gone for a week when do they have time to
negotiate. >> $85 billion in a $3.5 trillion budget. >> and -- >> it will hurt the economy. >> if you lose your job i think it hurts you, don't you think. >> fundamentally, the debt we have at the moment is the bigger problem for the economy and job creation. the president -- >> chris: let me bring karl in here. one, to talk about the sequester and also, in a bigger sense, look at the president's state of the union speech and agenda he laid out and what does it tell us what he wants to do in his second term. >> spend a lot of money and pursue a lot of liberal social policies and also says he's out of touch with the reality of where the country is, the democrats spent the last week going around and saying we don't have a spending problem and on the fox poll 83% of the american people say we have a spending problem, i agree with kim, $85 billion cut is a 2.4% cut, roughly out of this year's budget, a chunk, but, a lot of families have had to cut deeper and it is an $85 billion cut in government spending when we have a $16 trillion economy.
the administration is right to say there will be some problems with the across-the-board hair cuts, why the republicans and the house have been talking about -- continuing resolution to fund the government that will follow in a matter of a couple of days including flexibility for the president and the administration to move money around between accounts and you have a ship building account at dod, spend out for the next five years and allow them to take money and put it into maintenance and operation for the -- keep the fitness of our current services, but let's be honest, this was a bad idea, hoisted upon us by the president of the united states, who had 18 months to lead the country in a way to make smart, not stupid, cuts and we cut $600 billion and added $600 billion in tax revenues in january and the preside an last year's tv ad for saying every dollar in new revenues we ought to have $2.50 in spending cuts and now where we're'? talking about... $85 billion... >> the president's sequester --
>> all right, no, no. [all talking at once]. >> and they really don't want to talk about the origins of the sequester now. but, the republicans definitely have a role in the, but, i think we are missing -- this is where you have to look at the threes and the mandated cuts, the national institutes of health. 5% cuts. this is one of the crown jewels of american science. what nih has done, and a 5% cut will be devastating to them. >> chris: but couldn't you do $85 billion in cuts, that wouldn't be devastating? >> no. >> chris: with a trillion dollar government? [all talking at once]. >> it is mandated in law and the white house has said -- >> that's the point of the house republicans, they are saying, make smart cuts, not stupid
cuts. >> go back to the comment before, republicans in the house, most republicans in the house including the speaker voted for this. >> but, look, here's the deal. republicans now are for the sequester because they have no trust, no confidence in the president's willingness to cut spending at all and he had 18 months to lead us and he hasn't. the fact of the matter is, is that we had tools to avoid the kind of thing we're talking about if congress will sit down and the republicans are willing to grant the democrat president the flexibility to make these cuts in a manner he determines and he -- [all talking at once]. >> there is movement behind this scenes on this. i think some of the democrats have gone to the white house and said, now, wait a minute, can we delay the sequester or one year? and, that makes sense. granted, it is another kicking of the can -- >> republicans will not go for that. >> they might. and i think, wait a minute. you've got a situation where this is so idiotic and juan is
right. this is about jobs, about the state of the economy. >> no, it's not... it is about spending and, the... >> chris: i'm glad we cleared that up. thank you, panel. but don't forget to check out panel-plus, where our panel will pick up with this discussion discussion on our web site, foxnewssunday.com and we'll post the video before noon eastern time an follow us on twitter @foxnewssunday. up next our power player of the week. ♪
>> chris: there have been 1, 942 senators since congress started in 1789. one of the fun facts we learn from our power player of the week. ♪ >> i have a front row seat for the best show in washington. and it is. >> chris: donald richie is the senate historian. keeping track of everything it does, and why. >> the yeas are 59... the nays are 39... >> the senate does a lot of business by precedent and, you know. we have very few rules in the senate but we have thousands of press dents. >> chris: when the impeachment trial of bill clinton happened, they wanted to know what happened to the trial of andrew johnson in 1868. >> one question was, has anybody other than a member of the house ever presented a case against -- on the floor of the senate. >> chris: richie's answer was no. >> he should be removed from office as president of the
united states. >> chris: congressmen had to make the case against clinton, not their lawyers. recently, senators have been asking lots of questions about the filibuster. and ways to stop it. >> they all recognize the senate would be a different institution and, quite frankly, they'll say, the senate would be just like the house of representatives. which is something the senate doesn't want -- >> not a compliment. >> not in the slightest. we have files on filibusters and we have files on every, single person whoever served in the senate. >> chris: he took us into the archives of the office. picking a fill at random. >> i pulled out, butler, the first senator from alaska. >> chris: and also have 35,000 photos, drawings and cartoons, of the senate over the centuries. >> this is a picture of the senators in the 1880s. standing on the steps... >> chris: all men. >> yes, all men. >> chris: and this wonderful photo op of a senate softball game in the 1950s with a young jack kennedy as the catcher.
sometimes hollywood calls. when they were making a movie about howard hughes, testifying before a senate committee, they wanted to match the color of the drapes. they also help out reporters. >> the day of the state of the union we uncover so much, people calling with questions, to try to put something into historical context. >> chris: the historian's office opened in 1975 just after watergate. >> the legislature was asking the president to make his papers public and then historians said, what are you doing about your papers? >> chris: he joined the staff a year later and became senate historian, in 2009. >> in an institution where henry clay and daniel webster, their desks are still there, i'm looking at the past and i'm also watching the president as it unfolds. >> chris: 45 senators are now serving their first terms. in a period of dramatic turnover, richie is gratified to be part of the body's institutional memory. >> my main objective is to make suret